Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How Should the Disputed Election of 1876 Have Been Resolved?

I really don't understand exactly how the election process works in the first place. It just seems that it is entirely open to corruption. For example, how am I able to know that my vote counted? How do I know that someone didn't change it? At the same time, however, if anyone did change votes, through whatever trickery they want (such as not being able to read the ballots), I still don't think the number of changed votes would be that significant. Otherwise voters would catch on. I would much rather have my vote be based on money.

I also don't really understand how "Republican canvassing boards in power" were able to disqualify "enough Democratic votes to give each state to Hayes" (Davidson 491). What does "disqualify" mean? Were votes thrown away?

It also doesn't seem fair that the Republican controlled Congress was able to choose who made up the 15 member electoral commission. Indeed, the vote was based entirely on political party, thus giving Republicans the win. Is a vote of 8-7 really the kind of majority we as voters should want when selecting the position of president, the most powerful position in the world? It just does not seem democratic at all.

Davidson, James, Brian Delay, Christine Heyrman, Mark Lytle, and Michael Stoff, Nation of Nations: A Narrative History of the American Republic Volume II: Since 1865. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

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